The tied Garden City away on Tuesday.
With a third straight one-goal loss staring them in the face, John Tomasini redirected a free kick into the goal with 1:03 left to lift the Gladiators to a stunning 2-2 tie at Conference IV-leading Garden City. The Gladiators finally got the clutch goal they were looking for.
Garden City (5-1-1, 3-1-1 Conference IV) committed a defensive foul on the left wing side with just over a minute left, giving New Hyde Park (1-3-1, 1-2-1) a free kick approximately 30 feet from the Trojans goal. Dan Lorandini, who scored the first Gladiators goal on a free kick, booted the ball towards the right post, where Tomasini put it past Garden City goalie James Pyatsky for the equalizer.
“I just tried to get a run to the back post and it was a nice ball in by (Lorandini) and I just put it right in there,” Tomasini said.
New Hyde Park also had a chance to win it in regulation, but time ran out just as its 2-on-1 break in the Trojans’ zone was materializing.
“The kids played hard,” New Hyde Park Coach Jeff Kaiser said. “We fought hard for the entire 80 minutes and got that equalizer that the boys well deserved.”
Michael Gutierrez scored both goals for Garden City, which had won two straight following a devastating 3-2 home loss to Wantagh in which the Warriors scored off a redirected free kick with 31 seconds left in the game.
“We are disappointed,” Trojans Coach Carlo Mazarese said. “This is a game that we needed and I thought we made too many mental mistakes in the end. We should have won.”
The Gladiators came into the game reeling from consecutive 2-1 losses to Roslyn and Jericho. New Hyde Park allowed Jericho to score the game-winner with 2:35 remaining in the second half.
“I think today we played really well,” Tomasini said. “We were getting the ball outside today, a lot better than the last couple of games we were playing.”
Gutierrez gave the Trojans an early 1-0 lead with just 5:55 gone in the game when he took a pass from Sean Bingham and beat Gladiators goalie Andrew Blumenson with a shot from the right slot.
With just under 19 minutes remaining in the first half, Garden City committed a defensive foul in its own zone. Lorandini made the Trojans pay with a 25-yard blast that found the lower right side of the net.
“He was very strong today,” Kaiser said of Lorandini. “It was one of his better performances this year. Going forward, I’m hoping he can take away how he played today and continue that in the rest of the conference play.”
Gutierrez broke the tie with 26:51 left in the game when he took a pass in the right slot and snuck a shot just inside the left post.
“(There was) a slight ‘here we go again’ considering that Garden City took I think three shots and scored on two of them so I did have that feeling,” Kaiser said.
The Trojans had two golden opportunities to put the game away, but couldn’t cash in. Blumenson made a spectacular diving save on John Chtchekine’s shot from the low left slot with 12:35 remaining and watched Bingham’s header sail over the crossbar just under four minutes later.